* Posts by hammarbtyp

1087 posts • joined 28 Nov 2007


Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Could do better...

Come on El Reg, the headline should of been

"Virgin fails to get it up"

Have you lost access to the double entendre generation server?

NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Has anyone told Donnie?

but what about the moon babes?


NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: One would have throught...

“Under the spreading chestnut tree I sold you and you sold me:

There lie they, and here lie we

Under the spreading chestnut tree"

George Orwell 1984

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

hammarbtyp Silver badge

The bigger problem with DAB is while FM will degrade smoothly, to the point where although you are not getting HiFi sound quality (not a great issue with sport broadcasting anyway), DAB will just cut out leaving you with the dreaded cannot find station signal.

In some ways DAB is a step forward, but in others it harks back to the days where you have to hunt a position for the aerial to pick up the best reception, normally located in the least easily accessible area in your house

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK

hammarbtyp Silver badge

"Or that vaccines cause autism?"

Well at least we now know what a Vaccine free world would actually look like.

Fun isn't it

(That's me in a face mask of my own design)

2020 MacBook Air teardown shows in graphic detail how butterfly keyboards were snipped for scissor switch

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Methinks ...

"No company grows to that level without selling products that people actually need and find useful."

"No person would wear such clothes unless they were actually as wonderful as specified" said the tailors as they delivered the emperors new clothes

Chips that pass in the night: How risky is RISC-V to Arm, Intel and the others? Very

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Maybe the biggest risk to Intel is China. With the US being increasingly belligerent on using weaponizing IP , there is a incentive for China to invest in its own processor architecture. If China put its weight into RISC-V then Intel and ARM may find things moving away from themselves very quickly

Come kneel with us at UK's Cathedral, er, Oil Rig of the Canal: Engineering masterpiece Anderton Boat Lift

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Boat Lifts on the Canal du Centre - Belgium are based on Anderton design

and a bit farther away we have the modern and total waste of taxpayers money " Strépy-Thieu boat lift "

Not sure what the basis of that comment is - on the continent rivers are still important transport routes and by providing a link between the Meuse and the Scheldt allowed an increase in traffic. What would be better, building more motorways?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Belgium lifts

I have visited the Canal du Centre at La Louviere in Belgium which dragged my wife to, much to her chagrin( don't feel too sorry for her, she knew who she was marrying :) ). It is not perhaps the most attractive part of Belgium and to get there you end up driving through a industrial estate, but is impressive none the less. You cannot help and be impressed by the engineering efficiency. I believe it still does work

Would also like to add the Strépy-Thieu boat lift which although far newer is also impressive.

RIP Freeman Dyson: The super-boffin who applied his mathematical brain to nuclear magic, quantum physics, space travel, and more

hammarbtyp Silver badge

agreed, sad to see him go. Even sadder (to see him go that is), he was apparently an anthropogenic climate change skeptic...

No he wasn't, although unfortunately his name was bandied around by those who want to legitimize their beliefs. What he believed was global warming would not necessarily result in worldwide disaster. Probably understandable within the context of a man who felt that any problem could be solved with enough application of resources and human intelligence, but not necessarily a great one for those left behind.

Sure, check through my background records… but why are you looking at my record collection?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Coding Tests

All answers to coding tests should be "google it on stackoverflow"

Anything else and it is obvious the person has no experience in the software world

hammarbtyp Silver badge

It's not just a matter of covering up a one-off display of xenophobia or boorish masculine behaviour:

Unless you are looking for a job in government of course. If so it is the 1st thing that Mr Cummings will be looking for in the ideal candidate

London's top cop dismisses 'highly inaccurate or ill informed' facial-recognition critics, possibly ironically

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Re: What next?

Being in possession of an offensive wife

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Call that programming?

I did have one project like that .

We were planning to move from Data General Nova's to spiffing new Motorola Racks, however we could not work out how to transfer the code.

someone came up with the brilliant idea of exporting it via paper tape reader, then reading it in, on a paper tape reader connected to the target machine. Easy enough, except the host machine paper tape was fan-fold while the target was a reel. So we had someone output the paper tape, i had then every day drive 10 miles to the facility to feed in by hand the paper tape into the reader, hoping it would not tear in the process.

I did this for 4 days, then 5 days later the project got cancelled, so it was all in vain

You tell kids that nowadays, and they won't believe you

Apple drops a bomb on long-life HTTPS certificates: Safari to snub new security certs valid for more than 13 months

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Just as well we don't use Safari for industrial control devices.

Normally these are local access, do not have remote access and are only updated on long term maintenance contracts (5 year usually)

Often certificates are given 20 years lifetimes because a safety critical system should not go down because a certificate has not been updated in the last year.

Biggest worry would be if Chrome etc follow suit

When the air gap is the space between the ears: A natural gas plant let ransomware spread from office IT to ops

hammarbtyp Silver badge

An attack by any other name

"A cyber threat actor used a spear-phishing link to obtain initial access to the organization’s information technology network before pivoting to its operational technology network"

More likely the IT system was randomly targetted, without the attacker actually knowing what the PC's did. The OT system was just collateral damage for the ransomware attack.

But it sounds sexier if you try and make out it was some sort of cyber-terrorist thing

My question is why the IT systems did not have up to date AV and malware detection on them

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Hmmm

Prognostics, production reports, alert logging, remote diagnostics ... there many reasons.

It has become increasing common to seeing IT and OT connected which increases the risk of these sort of things. Proper firewall protections can reduce the risk, but it is bot unknown to see such perotections bypassed by ignorant IT

Shipping is so insecure we could have driven off in an oil rig, says Pen Test Partners

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: And yet...

That's all very nice and all, but in this particular thread we were discussing ships, not drill rigs.

There are many drill rigs that are movable. Many large ships are basically large industrial plants with propellers, the same lessons apply

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: A few points


Making sure that default passwords are not reused or forced to be changed is important, however it raises another issue.

The common test against any security change is the "Major shitstorm at 1 O'clock in the morning a long way away..."

Basically if a safety critical system goes titsup in an inaccessible location at a time when 1st line support is unavailable, what do you do?

If a system was installed 20 years ago (not uncommon), where do you find your passwords. Are the stored on-site, if not does the company who installed your kit still exist, can they be contacted, have they maintained there records, do they know where they are?

Its scenarios like these that worry people and has to be measured against the unknown risk of a system being remotely hacked.

hammarbtyp Silver badge

A few points

A few points here.

1. Working on ships can be really boring. Its not like its a 9-5 job, you are there for 24 hours for extended weeks. This means the temptations to hack the systems to make access easy is far greater. I remember being on a Royal Fleet Auxillary vessel in the 90's and I was amazed by the amount of pirated games that were onboard, because basically there is so little to do on your off-time. If ship owners wish to reduce the temptation to hack, they should provide the facilities to the crew for R&R in a separate secure system. But most won't because it increases cost.

2. Most ship systems are based on COTS systems. This means there is a great temptation for crew to "re-use" bits of kit. Its very hard to lock down say a PC running windows 7 to a determined user with a lot of time on there hands. The biggest threat however is things like USB sticks. They get plugged in so that someone can run their porno picked up on-shore which runs a virus. Virus checkers are very hard to run on such systems because a) without internet access they cannot be easily update b) interfere with the functionality. Fortunately most viruses are designed not to attack control systems but to get bank details etc, although the ransomware ones are a pain

3. Its all very well saying that passwords should be secret, changed etc, but IT policy often does not work well in a Operational technology environment(OT). Imagine a systems where you want to move a ship from a hazard, and your password has expired or you forgot your password and the system locks you out. In fact security standards emphasise that safety trumps security when there is a conflict.

4. Marine systems are very conservative, meaning they are very slow to react. The industry is moving forward, but with systems out there which are 25 years or older, it will take a long time before systems are bought into the 21st century cybersecurity wise

Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Style Council


Sound quality is subjective, whether you look a prat is universal

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Style Council

More importantly they don't make you look like you accidentally stuck a couple of electric toothbrush heads into you ears like Apples Airpods do

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

"Congress should pass a bill calling for an all out United States effort to develop better technology at lower cost to defeat Huawei on 5G worldwide by simply outcompeting them and driving them out of markets,"

Maybe they could have a 5 year plan. call it the "great leap forward" or something

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program

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Re: Good, good.


I hear that from remain and yes some racists supported brexit (I found some supporting remain too).

spend a lot of time with racists do you?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Good, good.

I disagree. Priti Patel (one of the senior figures in the current Brexit-delivering government) actively campaigned for Brexit on the grounds that it would allow the UK to increase immigration from Commonwealth countries (such as India) back to pre-EU levels of 300,000 or so per year.

The idea that Brexiteers weren't fully informed about what they were voting for and what the consequences would be needs to be put to rest. They didn't vote out of ignorance or prejudice. They knew what they voted for and they are going to get it.


Wait a second you really believe this? we are well and truly buggered

hammarbtyp Silver badge

1. control was always possible. it is just that successive governments chose to impose it

2. Point to any system of government market control that has been a long term success?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Good, good.

"Unlimited immigration of high calibre engineers, scientists and doctors from around the world (specifically India) is what many I know voted for."

I think a lot of your comrades in arms would be surprised to know that they voted for unlimited immigration from places like India, however well qualified they are.

Still a few problems with this. Firstly there is already a program where talented people can come in. It is capped at 2000, but those limits are rarely reached. We have always had the capacity to attract those, but there are better places to work and that is unlikely to change in the near future

Second is it treats people like commodities that can be bought and sold. These are human beings with their own needs and wants. They are also the sought after people so we are competing on a global stage. So here are a few questions that I would want to ask if I was one of them. Can I bring my wife/partner.children. What would be there legal status. Would they be able to work if my pay falls below the immigration threshold? When my children reach majority will they be given the rights as citizens? What are my rights as visa holder compared as a citizen. Am i tied to one employment? Do I have to pay extra for health care, etc. Certainly for many Europeans the answers to those questions will most likely fall far below what they can get in a similar post in the EU

Thirdly, cost to business. Which ever way you couch it, there is bureaucracy involved. If I wanted to hire the brightest band best I still need to convince the home office they fit the criteria. Big companies and universities will be OK, but startups may well find the cost and effort difficult to sustain

Fourth. Who decides who is the brightest and best. Why are some areas not included. Governments have a terrible track record in anticipating present and future needs

Finally. Can someone also be bright and unaware that the UK has become a far right xenophobic cesspit in recent years. It is almost a catch 22 situation - if apply, you are showing you are not bright enough to understand the ramifications

Ever wondered what Microsoft really thought about the iPad? Ex-Windows boss spills beans

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Steven Sinofsky?

He truly is the Thomas Midgely of the software world

Over the Moon? Not quite: NASA boss has a good whinge about 'counterproductive' Authorization Bill

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: SR-71 Blackbird.

Have you ever *sat* on a Concorde?

No but I have done Ryanair...

and if it was a choice of 3 hours transatlantic on Concoirde compared to 8 hours cattle class on a Delta, I know which one I would take

Brit brainiacs say they've cracked non-volatile RAM that uses 100 times less power

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: "Within the next decade we'll either have it or we won't"

Reminds me of the famous Nostradamus prediction

"In the future two armies will fight, one will win"

(Woody Allen)

'Buyer's remorse' drove HP's legal crusade to go after Lynch, High Court told

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Christmas films are banned until much later in the year.

See icon for comment

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay

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Re: Progress

"Yet they could get their trains running again faster than we can now, in the 21st century?"

Steam trains are incredible time consuming to get going. Apart from the effort in cleaning ashes, it takes a long time to bring steam up to pressure. Nor were they particular reliable and when they went wrong, it tended to be a catastrophic failure.

It easy to look at rose tinted glasses at the age of steam, but they are inefficient, labour intensive and most of the drivers who drove them for a living were glad to see the back of them

Amazon, Google, Microsoft: Who had the best year in cloud in 2019?

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Wot, no Oracle? Larry won't be happy

RISC-V Xmas gifts: SiFive emits vector-enabled cores, Western Digital teases new SweRVs, VxWorks hugs ISA, Samsung rolls it into 5G...

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Well its nice to see Windriver branching out. Unfortunately when they were owned by Intel, they only seemed interested in Intel x86 architecture so they supported things like ARM and other platforms poorly. However it is clear that Intel have given up in the embedded space, so it left Windriver with no where to go

Uncle Sam challenged in court for slurping social media info on 'millions' of visa applicants

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Slightly confused...

it's one of the few differences between an ESTA and a full visa.

For the moment...

Trump Administration fast-tracks compulsory border facial recognition scans for all US citizens

hammarbtyp Silver badge

New categories for HB-1 applicants

Melania Trump secured a EB-1 visa which are reserved for "for people who are highly acclaimed in their field", so we can assume the new HB-1 rules will be specifically aimed at young models willing to sleep with ageing millionaires (sic)

BBC tells Conservative Party to remove edited Facebook ad featuring its reporters

hammarbtyp Silver badge

"yet not a single one of you able to summon an argument for why my post is wrong."

Well, here's one argument. When UKIP was minority party in the European parliament and had no sitting MPs, he was invited consistently, while no other Euro MPs were invited onto the show.

However this is because QT a long time ago stopped become a forum for serious debate and became a mixture of the Jerry Springer show and the Daily Express, where people were invited not so much for there political discourse but as shock jocks. Even the audience is now invited based on not so much a selection of the country, but on who will give the best 1 minute tag line which is why it largely consists of red face 50 year old white blokes complaining about immigrants cluttering up their golf courses

Brian Eno's latest composition: A giant Christmas card with Julian Assange on it

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Assange != Journalism

The most significant award was 8 years ago. At that point it was believed Wikileaks was a organisation dedicated to journalistic values. In the subsequent period we have learnt that Assange is primarily concerned about himself even to the point of selectively releasing information to damage certain democratic parties who he has issues against.

Rather than a crusading protector of free speech, he turned out to be a petty demigod only interested only in his own glory, and screw anyone else (sic)

Be careful who you make your heroes

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Assange != Journalism

tying Assange to journalism is an insult to journalists everywhere. There are good, honest journalists around the world who are being vilified, suppressed and even arrested. Assange is not one of them, instead he is a parasite that feeds of the ideals of journalistic integrity

Never much liked Eno's music anyway...

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: The internet will be privatised

Psst-Fancy a IPV4 address, hardly used, fell off the the back of a lorry

Dead or alive, you're camming with me, says RoboPup: Bomb squad hires Boston Dynamics Spot to snoop on suspects, packages

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Dog from hell

I cannot see one with out thinking of metalhead from

Black Mirror

I believe it was even based on the Boston Dynamics robot. Far scarier and believable than any terminator

The US Army recruits WALL-E Chris H as its next-generation bomb disposal robot

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Seems more s evolution rather than a revolution. I can't help wondering what a bomb disposal device based on one of the Boston Dynamic cats would look like. Certainly would provide more mobility in certain scenarios

Weird flex but OK... Motorola's comeback is a $1,500 Razr flip-phone with folding 6.2" screen

hammarbtyp Silver badge

My wife was seriously wedded to her Razr, refusing for may year my entreaties to get a smart phone, and as a piece of design it was hard to beet, from the lazer cut keypad to the display panel on the outside. I still believe that if it had a continouos upgrade program (better screen, camera and processor) it would have a niche today

Not sure about this one. I like the outside notification screen, but the folding screen seems like an overkill where two screens would of been easier and more flexible (sic). And the price....

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: I, Tonya

my email is 1st initial + Surname so i have no idea what Tonya email address is. I've sort of looked but to no avail

hammarbtyp Silver badge

I, Tonya

I used to keep getting regular status reports for a GMC Yukon. It would tell me interesting reports like tyre pressures, diagnostic reports, mileage etc. It even listed its VIN number etc

Only one problem, I have never owned a GMC Yukon and since it was registered in Michigan, and i live in the UK, it is unlikely to be mine. I traced it down to a difference of one letter. I'm Tony and the car is owned by a Tonya.

Being a good citizen I set about trying to fix it. However I found it impossible to contact the diagnostic firm. They had no customer contact email. In the end I did it via twitter messenger. I told them the problem, but they seemed to struggle with the concept. They eventually agreed to fix it.

1 month later I got another diagnostic report. At that point I said what the hell. I just hope Tonya doesn't get a big issue with her car

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority asked drone orgs to email fliers' data in an Excel spreadsheet

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: loophole?

My kickstarter for 4 drones, each weighing 249g that combine in flight has just been registered

Boffins blow hot and cold over li-ion battery that can cut leccy car recharging to '10 mins'

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Filling station power requirement

While I agree with your maths, the idea of replacing petrol pumps withe charging stations is old school thinking

Because there is no need for large petrol storage tanks., electrical charging stations can be distributed anywhere there is a adequate power supply.

Come on, you can't be serious: Now Australia mulls face-recog tech for p0rno site age checks

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Re: Think of the positive side...

It will certainly improve Aussie IT skills

Aviation's been Boeing through a rough patch: Software tweaks blamed for Airbus A220 failures

hammarbtyp Silver badge

Usual sw solution

Did they try switching them on and off again?

We read the Brexit copyright notices so you don't have to… No more IP freely, ta very much

hammarbtyp Silver badge


Dear AC

I too work for a well known multi-national company.

Firstly the best engineers are not exclusive to any part of the world. I would bet our German engineers against any in embedded and industrial control development. Our 2 best power system engineers were Greek, until they got nicked by Jaguar Landrover. The biggest obstacle is cultural and language, this is where we find that certain cultures work better together. Skill set is one thing, but it is generally easier to work with say a set of German colleagues in project development than say India. That is not to say we don't use both, but years of outsourcing has shown you cannot just swap groups out

But to your points

1) I hear this from some Brexiters that one of the upsides is that know we can pick and choose from a global pool instead of being limited to just Europe. Does anyone out there truly believe that the same people who seem offended that a pole wishes to speak Polish on a UK street is going to be perfectly happy to open immigration to all parts of the world, especially the none-white bits? Its a classic bit of Gas lighting. What we will find is that it will be increasingly difficult to recruit from anywhere outside the UK, and those who come will be treated as second class citizens. Not only that but skilled UK workers will be locked out of the wider European market, making co-operation and joint projects more difficult.

2) I have never had an issue with sending non-white engineers to France or Germany, while we have had racism to some Indian engineers here. Maybe you should of fought back a bit more. In truth it sounds more like a cultural problem at your company rather than a Belgium issue, but hey if they people like you in HR, maybe thats not a surprise



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